Can you remember a really good conversation you had?
What was memorable about that?
Was it the topic, the words or just a feeling that left you?
maya angelou said,
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
This quote describes the essence of positive communication. Positive communication not only leaves an impression on the listener, but also promotes the health and well-being of the speaker (Pitts & Socha, 2013).
Positive communication “also offers the potential to inspire people to reach out for higher moments, for the greater good, and to act altruistically” (Pitts & Socha, 2013, p. 3).
Let's take a closer look at positive communication.
Before we go any further, we thought you might like itDownload our three positive communication exercises (PDF) for free. These science-backed tools help you and the people you work with develop better social skills and connect better with others.
This article contains:
- What is positive communication?
- Why is good communication important?
- Positive communication skills: 23 examples
- 9 Techniques to Promote Positive Communication
- The best communication strategies in the workplace
- 3 Useful Activities and Worksheets
- PositivePsychology.com Resources
- A message to take away
What is positive communication?
Dale Carnegie (1998, p. 137) said: “If you want to win a man over to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Inside is a drop of honey that will conquer your heart.
Positive communication “is not defined as the absence of verbal and negative communicationnonverbal communication, but the presence of positive, enriching, and facilitating conversations and gestures” (Pitts & Socha, 2013, p. 1).
“Positive communication is unique in its ability to generate physical, social, and psychological health and well-being” (Pitts & Socha, 2013, p. 3). It is conceptualized as “relational communication that promotes happiness, health, and well-being” (Pitts & Socha, 2013, p. 1).
Positive communication incorporates many of the concepts associated with positive psychology. Three of these concepts help provide the framework upon which the study of positive communication can be built (Pitts & Socha, 2013):
1. Positive emotions
These include emotions such as contentment, well-being, and gratification from past experiences; flow, ecstasy and happiness in the present; and hope and optimism for the future.
2. Positive qualities
This area provides information about individual strengths and virtues and extends to natural talents and abilities.
Traits such as resilience, forgiveness, optimism, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and hope contribute to a person's integrity and create a pool from which to draw the resources needed to develop healthy communication skills. These qualities provide strength in difficult times and in a variety of situations.
3. Positive Institution
The final lens through which we look at positive communication is the examination ofpositive institutions and communities. This includes work and leisure, but also abstract entities such as family, democracy and freedom of the press.
Intertwined, these concepts form a foundation for the art of positive communication.
The potential of positive communication to promote interpersonal well-being is available through transformative interactions such aspardonand listen (Pitts & Socha, 2013).
Why is good communication important?
When we interact with a person who makes us feel loved or supported, oxytocin is released.
Confidence building and social bonds also release oxytocin (Breuning, 2012).
This could explain why people are willing to work hard to communicate, even when it's difficult. Skillfully executed, we are rewarded with a torrent of happiness hormones.
Speaking and listening are basic communication skills used every day to connect with others. These skills help us process language so we can interact with people.
“If we use these tools well, they help us build wonderful, growing, and lasting relationships” (Leal, 2017, p. 15).
Bolton (1986, p. 7) views our ability to communicate well as a matter of life and death: "Our personal development and our mental and physical health are tied to the caliber of our communication."
Instead, both Leal and Bolton offer their perspectives on the consequences of poor communication skills.
Leal (2017) analyzes the painful consequences of poor communication skills such as broken marriages, family alienation and workplace chaos.
Bolton (1986, p. 7) goes further and analyzes how a lack of communication skills or exposure to poor communication techniques "decreases individuality both emotionally and physically". He claims that "low communication leads to loneliness and detachment from friends, lovers, spouses, and children, and ineffectiveness at work" (Bolton, 1986, p. 13).
Positive communication “allows people to focus on what makes them feel good, what motivates them to invest in good health behaviors, and what motivates them to live fully within the parameters of their personal health and life story (Pitts & Socha, 2013, p. 3).
People in large networks and close relationships tend to be healthier, happier, and live longer than people who are isolated or in negative relationships (Pitts & Socha, 2013).
Now that we've laid a solid foundation on the importance of good communication, let's examine specific skills.
Positive communication skills: 3 examples
Below are verbal and non-verbal examples of positive communication that can improve closeness and promote health and well-being.
positive verbal communication
it's not just about thatI hear,but listen deeply and completely. According to Newberg and Waldman (2012, p. 142), you need to “train your mind to focus on the person speaking: their words, their intonation, their gestures, their facial features, everything”.
Additionally, the most commonly cited communication value is being fully heard and understood, which is depth in a relationship.
Pitts and Socha (2013) point out that most people have no one to listen to them without judgment. They discuss a level of listening they call "hearing between the lines," which is intuitive listening that includes listening for feelings, energy levels, and tone of voice.
The following tool is closely related to listening.
Empathy is essential when engaging in positive communication. Empathy is key –Golden cut.
skills that improveempathetic listeninginclude (Leal, 2017):
- Quiet your mind to focus on the person speaking.
- Listen to them fully and openly.
- Hear through the words.
- Avoid interrupting them when they are talking.
- Use your own words to convey what you heard, including the emotional content of the message.
Non-verbal positive communication
Positive communication is identified by the “presence of positive, enriching, and facilitating conversations and gestures” (Pitts & Socha, 2013, p. 1).
During a conversation, it is often easy to discern a person's engagement and interest through nonverbal engagement behaviors, which are actions that indicate our interest and enthusiasm (Remland, 2009). This can be indicated by eye contact, body and face orientation, leaning, close distance, open posture, and touch.
From othersnonverbal cuesThis participation includes facial expressions and vocal expressions as well as relaxed laughter. Relaxation of voice and posture and lack of nervous mannerisms can be included in this group of behaviors (Remland, 2009).
These nonverbal cues, along with positive reinforcements such as nods and smiles, high vocal energy, fluency, and illustrative gestures (Remland, 2009), signal to the speaker that we are engaged and interested in what they have to say.
9 Techniques to Promote Positive Communication
One approach used to teach positive communication skills is the Relationship Enhancement (RE) approach, which focuses on sharing conversations,Conflict Resolution Skillsand effective self-transformation and other relationship-enriching techniques (Pitts & Socha, 2013).
The method can be usedHelp customers express themselves, responding to the attitudes and needs of others, skillfully dealing with interpersonal problems, and solving problems promptly (Pitts & Socha, 2013).
To achieve these relational milestones, the RE approach (Pitts & Socha, 2013, pp. 150–151) encourages the study and practice of skills such as:
- Empathetic (listening)
- expressive (to speak)
- Discussion-negotiation (chatting)
- Problem Conflict Resolution
- automatic change
- help others change
- teaching or facilitation
- maintenance skills
While all of these skills are important to the practical application of positive communication, we discuss just a few of them here:
When listening, it is important to give the other person your full attention and demonstrate appropriate non-verbal gestures. This is also a good time to focus on emotions, perceptions, needs, or desires (Pitts & Socha, 2013).
Leal (2017) believes that preparing for empathic listening begins with thisempathic awareness:
- Recognize the inherent value and dignity of yourself and the other person.
- Encourage a desire to listen and engage with the other person.
- Think positively of the other person.
There is humility in these components.
Pitts and Socha (2013) recommend responding with empathy to the other person before expressing your own wants, needs, or feelings. Additionally, using assertive statements when sharing your own perceptions, needs, desires, or feelings allows for transparency in communication and builds trust.
Newberg and Waldman (2012, p. 123) discuss compassionate communication and list strategies they believe should be followed consistently. They include:
- express appreciation.
- Do them heartily.
- Speak slowly.
- Speak briefly.
- Listen carefully.
Discussion Negotiation Conversation
Again, it is important to first express empathy by taking turns in the conversation and seeing each other as interlocutors.
Problem Conflict Resolution
Use the conversational skills outlined above to discuss interpersonal needs and issues to arrive at a fair and agreed plan.
The best communication strategies in the workplace
According to Pitts and Socha (2013, p. 208), “employee welfare is what is best for the employer”. Additionally, their ability to communicate effectively contributes significantly to employee well-being.
Many organizations require interpersonal communication and team communication for organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
Goleman (1998) provides solid strategies for positive workplace communication using the context ofemotional intelligence skills.
Employees with the following skills provide unique value in the workplace.
- emotional awareness
That person knows what they are feeling and can explain why they are experiencing the emotion. You also know your goals and values.
Employees with self-control are able to manage their inappropriate impulses. You maintain composure and the ability to think clearly under pressure, which is invaluable during crucial incidents.
This team member is steadfast and beyond doubt. Trustworthiness is one of the most important factors in building effective relationships and teams.
- understand others
This interpersonal skill is essential for positive communication. People with this ability are good at reading nonverbal cues, are sensitive to others, and are good listeners. You can understand what others feel and need.
This person handles difficult conversations with openness. They seek mutual understanding and encourage open communication. This feature is essential for large teams.
- leadership conflict
Employees experienced in conflict management apply diplomacy in difficult times, encouraging open discussion and striving for mutually satisfactory agreements.
- build relationships
the person capable of doing soBuild bonds in the teamYou are adept at building relationships and keeping people in the loop.
- collaboration and collaboration
This employee can balance working on a task while also focusing on relationships. They are friendly and cooperative and provide the necessary information and resources.
This employee demonstrates team qualities such as respect and cooperation. You are able to motivate and inspire team members. They help build the identity of the team.
3 Useful Activities and Worksheets
How we approach interactions with others can make or break the relationship.
1. Consider your intentions
isconsider your intentionsThe worksheet invites customers to prepare for a successful communication by considering their intentions before initiating the interaction. The worksheet was originally developed for family interactions, but can be generalized to suit any critical communication environment.
Customers are first asked to think about the purpose of the interaction. Does the customer really want to connect with the other, or do they want to get away with it? While these questions may seem cheeky, they provide an excellent opportunity for self-reflection.
If there is an intention to connect, the client is prompted to continue. They are then asked to think about what they are looking for in the relationship and what successful interactions would entail.
However, if the client just wants to do what they want, they are not ready to connect with the other person. At this point, they may want to delve deeper into the relationship dynamics and consider their best options going forward.
2. Active Constructive Response
Himactive constructive responseThe worksheet looks at four types of responses we give when we hear good news from others.
The four styles are passive-destructive, passive-constructive, active-destructive, and active-constructive. Examples of each of the styles are provided. Customers are asked to review styles and think about which style they use in different relationships.
Responding to the other person's good news with the active-constructive response style represents the ideal and exhibits the components of positive communication described in this article.
3. Active auditory reflection
HimWorksheet for thinking about active listeningStart teaching rightActive listeningand responsiveness skills such as encouragement, reflection, and paraphrasing. Below is an explanation of the four golden rules of communication.
The worksheet moves on to a reflection exercise that asks participants to review which skills they used, which worked well, and which didn't. In the follow-up, participants are asked to consider what unused skills they can incorporate into their next conversation.
Finally, participants are asked to decide whether they have achieved the goals of the conversation, such as: E.g. effective silence or nonjudgmental listening.
Positive communication has a strong relationship with positive psychology. We have numerous resources on our blog that can help improve communication skills.
confident communicationIt's one of the most efficient and clearest ways to communicate in a way that benefits both parties. HimConfident Communication Worksheethelps clients find the balance between passive, aggressive and assertive communication.
The worksheet consists of two parts. The first part provides examples of aggressive, assertive and passive communication.
The second part offers a scenario that some people might find difficult to react to. Participants are asked to provide an assertive response and to describe feelings associated with the situation.
want in words
Himwant in wordsPractice simplifies the skills needed for assertive communication. Participants can prepare a situation in which they must express a direct need or desire to another person.
The worksheet breaks down the assertive statement into components specific to a want or need, and then participants piece each of the individual components together into a complete and concise assertive statement.
Practice empathetic listening
The following group exercise is available by subscriptionPositive Psychologie Toolkit ©with over 400 tools, exercises and worksheets.
Being a competent and empathetic listener is critical to positive communication. One of the goals of empathic listening is to ensure that the speaker feels and understands that they are being heard. HimPractice empathetic listeningThe exercise emphasizes three components of this skill: pausing, paraphrasing, and reflecting on feelings.
The exercise begins with an overview of the key components of empathic listening. The participants are then divided into roles. Each participant is asked to take turns taking each of the three roles: interviewer, speaker and observer. Each role has a specific task. Participants can practice pausing, paraphrasing and reflecting on feelings.
Once each participant has completed the roles, they are asked to provide feedback to the larger group. This exercise can take 30-60 minutes as a group.
17 positive communication exercises
If you're looking for more scientific ways to help others communicate better, check out this collection of17 validated positive communication tools for professionals. Use them to help others improve their communication skills and build deeper, more positive relationships.
A message to take away
Dale Carnegie (1998, p. 52) once said, "You can make more friends in two months if you're interested in other people than in two years if you're trying to get other people interested in you."
Connecting with others is critical to health and well-being. Good relationships through great conversations offer physical and mental benefits, and make us feel good through the release of happy chemicals. It makes an impression, the kind Maya Angelou was talking about.
Each of us has the potential to become great communicators, connect deeply with others, and improve our own well-being.
We can be the person that the other always remembers fondly because we made them feel.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. do not forgetDownload our three positive communication exercises (PDF) for free.
- Bolton, R. (1986).social competence. touchstone.
- Breuning, LG (2012).Know your happy chemicals: dopamine, endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin. Press System Integrity.
- Carnegie, D. (1998).How to make friends and influence people. Buchgalerie.
- Gallo, C. (31. Mai 2014).Theorem by Maya Angelou that will radically improve your business. forbes with. Retrieved March 9, 2022 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/05/31/the-maya-angelou-quote-that-will-radically-improve-your-business/
- Goleman, D. (1998).Working with Emotional Intelligence. rooster books.
- Leal, BC (2017).4 Essential Keys To Effective Communication In Love, In Life, At Work, Anywhere! Including the 12-day communication challenge!Author.
- Newberg, A.B. e Waldman, M. R. (2012).Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversational Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy. Hudson Street Press.
- Pitts, M.J. e Socha, T.J. (Hrsg.). (2013).Positive communication about health and wellness. Pedro Lang.
- Remland, MS (2009).Nonverbal communication in everyday life.. Pearson A und B.